What with Brexit, Trump and disruption in the middle east, it’s a volatile world overseas, which is why a huge number of Brits are opting to stay here in blighty for their holidays. Or to give it the appropriate modern day vernacular – taking a staycation.
It’s probably the smart thing to do in 2017. With Brexit causing so much uncertainty, prices in Europe are higher. As the powers that be thrash out our departure, markets and exchange rates will be all over the shop. Whilst there will undoubtedly be some last minute bargains, it’s impossible to know if Europe is good value or not. So we thought we’d look at some of London’s Major Attractions – just for those who are planning a staycation…
Museums, Museums, Museums…
London has more Museums than you can shake a stick at. And most of the publicly owned ones have free entry – just be aware that you’ll have to pay for any special exhibitions. That makes our capital one of Europe’s best destinations, so if you’re stay-cationing in London there’s plenty to do…
The V&A is the place to head for those that like a bit of creative culture as this museums focus is Art and Design. There’s a lot on display – and in total the museum houses over 4.5 million artefacts spanning over 5000 years of human history. It really does cover every aspect of human creativity including from furniture and fashion to textiles, photography and architecture. There’s bound to be something to capture your interest.
Admission is free, but you’ll have to pay for the special exhibitions. This summer’s big exhibition for Prog Rock Music lovers has to be Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains. At £20-24 it ain’t cheap, but it is on until 1st October.
If you’re more materially minded – then Plywood: Material of the Modern World, might be more in your workshop. This exhibition tells how this remarkable material shaped the modern world – and this one id FREE!
The Science Museum is a huge hit with Adults and Children alike. It explores and explains the science and history behind much of the technology humans have invented – but that we take for granted. You’ll find some huge and impressive exhibits, including the world’s oldest surviving steam locomotive ‘Puffing Billy’.
Tim Peake made history last year as the European Space Agency’s first British Astronaut. Newly on display at the Science Museum is the Soyuz TMA-19M Capsule that he returned to earth strapped into – complete with Parachute.
They’ve also got a stack load of online resources, so you can kick-off (or carry-on) the fun before or after your visit.
Like most of London’s Public and ‘free’ museums – you will need to pay for admission to the special exhibitions.
Highlights for 2017 include Robots, examining why we make robots (rather than how they work) and etc astonishing 500 year quest to make machines that mirror humans. Entry is £15 per person, age 11 and under go free. Robots is on until 3rd September.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of London’s biggest and best known attractions. It’s not surprising. They’ve got a whole wing dedicated to Dinosaurs – which are massively popular with kids! It’s hard to find anyone that won’t be interested in something on display at the Natural History Museum. If you like animals (and the history of species) you’ll find more to occupy your interest at the NHM than almost anywhere else in the world.
If you’ve got kids who like things bit creepy-crawly-monster, consider booking a behind the scenes tour of the spirits collection. Think of it as “Monster’s Inc” but for real – it’s only suitable for ages 8+ (some of the pickled creatures on display might give little ones nightmares) and is £10 for adults. It includes a 8.62 metre giant squid and many of the actual specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself.
NHM tend to have fewer exhibitions than some of the other big museums – preferring to make use of their exhibition space to display as much of the collection as possible – although theres still a huge amount in storage.
The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Seafaring enthusiasts will love the National Maritime Museum – charting human exploration, discovery and trade across the oceans, it’s a testament to how we humans love the sea.
Beginning 14th July and running through to January 2018 Franklin: Death in the Ice, explores what happened when 129 adventurers – including John Franklin – vanished in the Canadian Arctic.
Entry is from £9.60 online or £12.00 walk-in.
Old father Thames has been the focal point of London since the very first settlement and now is it to the big smoke would be complete without some form of River ride. The Thames Clipper service is an example of London’s Water Taxi’s which will take you from the central piers around Westminster downstream to the City attractions around Tower Bridge, Greenwich and the O2. Find out more about the Thames Clippers on their website.